Southern California Activities

CEERT continues our long-time work to reduce Southern California’s dependence on fossil-fueled power and increase its reliance on clean energy resources. In addition to our regulatory advocacy to promote renewable energy and the building of a low-carbon grid for the region, we are particularly focusing on Los Angeles and the Imperial Valley.

Recent Developments:

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is facing what amounts to a total system makeover. Its current Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) (circa early 2016) has assumed exiting the IPP coal facility in Utah and replacing it with a large combined-cycle gas plant, compliance with SB 350 and repowering of LADWP’s entire in-Basin gas fleet due to age, and compliance with Once Through Cooling regulations — basically a 50/50 gas/renewables system.

Meanwhile, political pressure to be a “climate leader” led to an LA City Council resolution to take the system to 100% “renewables” by 2045, and everything that has happened since only moves up that timing. With the front end of the IRP being a $5 billion investment in gas generation, the long-term low-carbon strategy is difficult. LADWP has now inked the exit deal for IPP coal, retaining the DC transmission rights from northern Utah and committing to construction of an 840 MW gas combined-cycle complex plus a pilot for Compressed Air Energy Storage at the Utah site. In exchange, it agreed to increase its in-Basin solar and energy efficiency programs and commit to an accelerated renewable procurement program, ending with a 70% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2035. The result will be approximately 2,500 megawatts (MW) of new renewable procurement over the next five years.

LADWP next must reconcile its in-Basin gas repowering program with an Aliso Canyon phase-out and further decarbonization while preserving reliability and planning for potentially large load growth due to electrification of transportation and buildings. Preliminary decisions are required by late fall. There should be significant further procurement of in-Basin preferred resources as a result.

Jim Caldwell is on the Advisory Committee and Liz Anthony is an alternate for LADWP’s 100% Clean Energy Study — work that should lead to a dramatically revised IRP in 2019.

Glendale Water and Power (GWP) is proposing to build 263 MW of new gas to replace the aging, obsolete, inefficient Grayson gas facility. Jim Caldwell sponsored an alternate plan that achieved reliability through emphasis on energy efficiency, demand response, local solar, and transmission. The Glendale City Council instructed staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for local renewable resources before committing to the new gas plant. GWP is due to report back to the City Council at the end of August on the RFP results plus transmission options.